Millennium Post

AI staff integration to start in 45 days

Five years after merger of two state-run airlines, the government on Friday announced that implementation of uniform structures for pay, allowances and career progression for Air India (AI) employees would start in 45 days, saying it was necessary if the airline is to survive.

‘[Employees’ integration] is necessary if merger [of Air India] has to succeed, if Air India has to survive. The government is giving Rs 30,000 crore ... one thing is clear. Government will not give public money any more to Air India,’ civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said.

He also asked the striking pilots that their demands relating to their career progression can be examined only after they returned to work. ‘They should unilaterally call off their strike. The [Delhi] High Court has also said the same thing. It is an illegal strike. We will consider all their demands after they join back,’ Singh said.

Announcing a roadmap for implementation of the Justice D M Dharmadhikari Committee recommendations on HR integration of the employees of erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines, he said there would be parity in pay scales and uniform working conditions for all staffers. The airlines were merged in 2007.

However, the pay scales and allowance structure for pilots, engineers, cabin crew and technicians would be determined on the basis of industry norms. A panel of officials has been set up for implementation of various recommendations on pay fixation, level-mapping of all employees and their promotional avenues.
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